4 Reasons Truth & Grace Counseling is “Firearm Friendly.”

Firearm Friendly Origin

What does it mean to be “firearm friendly.” Well it means I am welcoming of firearm owners in my counseling practice. I recently ran across an organization called Walk the Talk America. Their slogan is “Bridging the Gap between mental health and responsible firearm ownership.” I did a free online training with them that discussed ways to appropriately present mental health treatment to firearm owners.

This post is going to line out 4 reasons why I believe it is important to be “firearm friendly” in my counseling practice.

1. There are many gun owners

In Oklahoma 54.7% of adults have guns in their household. While this doesn’t mean all of these adults actively use firearms, that is still a staggering number. Now Oklahoma is a very conservative state so it’s not too surprising to see that number. But even the liberal state of California has 28.3% of its adult households with firearms. That is 1 out of every 4 adults in a liberal state. My point of saying this is that it is not simply a conservative state vs liberal state issue.

2. Shall not be Infringed

I had to put the 2A in the second slot. For as much as the second amendment gets talked about, not often do you see the actual amendment being fully written out. Therefore let me put it in its full text.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

I’m not going to get into a constitutional debate here. However, this constitutional protection is extremely important to many Americans. Especially in Duncan, Oklahoma where I live and throughout the rest of Oklahoma/Texas.

Most in the counseling field are left leaning politically. Because of this, they may not be sure why “gun nuts” are so protective of their guns. Again, the purpose of this post isn’t for a debate. But the fact of the matter is many gun owners will not trust counselors that publically state their desire for gun control. These gun owners truly believe the constitution recognizes their right for firearms.

3. The “Summer of Love” increased Gun Ownership

The Summer of 2020 was filled with “mostly peaceful” protests. During the height of these protests the Seattle Mayor referred to CHOP/CHAZ as potentially being “the “summer of love.” If you don’t know about this story spoiler alert it was filled with chaos and violence. Seattle wasn’t the only place with extra violence that summer. The picture below is from the infamous Kenosha, Wisconsin riots (yes the Kyle Rittenhouse one)

This is more accurate honestly

Violence was rampant throughout the country in 2020. During these riots, gun ownership went through the roof. Many of these gun owners were minorities. I believe this is due to much of the increase in crime affecting urban areas.

4. Most Gun Deaths are Suicides

During tragic events such as school shootings you often see statistics of how many gun deaths have occurred in the country. School shootings are absolutely horrible events. Mass shootings of any kind are tragic, senseless forms of violence. They deserve our attention without a doubt.

However, when you look into the statistics the majority of gun related deaths are suicides. 54% of gun deaths in 2020 were from suicide. Of guns used in murder, most of these were pistols and not any type of rifle.

Decrease mass shooting events absolutely is an important goal. However, increasing responsible gun ownership needs to be at the root of any gun violence prevention. Any responsible gun owner should learn the 5 gun safety rules.

  1. Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
  2. Always point your gun in a safe direction.
  3. Never point your gun at anything you don’t intend to shoot.
  4. Keep your finger off the trigger until your ready to shoot.
  5. Be sure of your target and what’s beyond.

If you follow these rules you will be safe with your gun usage. However, I believe a 6th rule should be added to to this.

6. Never intend to shoot someone who does not pose a threat

Responsible gun ownership is all about protection. Someone could theoretically follow the first 5 rules and still use their gun irresponsibly. Shooting someone who is not a threat should never happen. This includes the gun owner themselves. If we want to decrease gun related deaths we have to decrease suicides. These are the majority of gun related deaths.

If you are a gun owner in Oklahoma or Texas and need mental health treatment, I would love to work with you. My goal is not to take your firearms, but to empower you to be a more responsible gun owner. In my practice you don’t even have to have a diagnosis if you are a self pay client. Again, I’m not interested in taking your firearm away, I’m interested in helping assist you in being a responsible gun owner by protecting your loved ones and yourself.